2013 ~~ Happy Year of the Snake! (へび年)

Happy New Year . . .


Ah*ke*ma*shi*te    Oh*meh*de*toh    Goh*za*i*mas


According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake.  This ancient calendar runs in 12-year cycles.  2012 was the Year of the Dragon and 2011 was the Year of the Rabbit.  2010, the Tiger.  Below you’ll see a photo of a snake, a young cottonmouth, I took in the U.S. Deep South Alabama earlier this year.

Cottonmouth.  In the Deep South piney woods.

Cottonmouth. In the Deep South piney woods.

Positive and negative attributes of persons born in a Year of the Snake (2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941 . . .) -

 *  Positive: The Snake can be amiable, compromising, fun-loving, altruistic, honorable, sympathetic, philosophical, charitable, a paragon of fashion, intuitive, discreet, diplomatic, amusing and sexy.

*  Negative: The Snake can also be self-righteous, imperious, judgmental, conniving, mendacious, grabby, clinging, pessimistic, fickle, haughty, ostentatious and a very sore loser.

Quoted in toto from this site.

More characteristics (which I quote from the same, above-linked site) of persons born in a Snake Year:

The person born in the year of snake is the wisest and most enigmatic of all. He/she can become a philosopher, a theologian, a political lizard or a wily financier. Such person is a thinker who also likes to live well. The snake – person loves books, music, clothes, and fine food; but with all his fondness for the good things of life, his innate elegance gives him a dislike for frivolities and foolish talk.

They like communicating and like interesting conversations, although if the conversation becomes repetitive their attention may soon wander. It is almost impossible to fix their attention for long talking about the weather. They prefer to focus on new interesting unusual ides and intelligent discussion in general.


Your author actually has a little, recent, history with snakes in Japan.  Below is a photo of yours truly, taken at the City of Hitachi’s Kamine Zoo in 2008.  They thought I’d be all scared and freaked out by having a snake hung round my shoulders.  They had little idea that I spent much of my childhood in the woodsy wilds of South Alabama .  .  .

Yours Truly, at Kamine Zoo. Hitachi, Japan. 2008.

Yours Truly, at Kamine Zoo. Hitachi, Japan. 2008.

Here are a few ways the Year of the Snake is being commemorated and celebrated in Japan:

“It’s a great year, you know!”


So, Happy Year of the Snake and Best Wishes for Health and Prosperity in 2013!

  1. Love all your pics, but hate all snakes in general (think Indiana Jones 🙂
    Dunno anything positive about snakes……having lived a former life in a land where the King Cobra roams can do that to you. Regarding the negative about snakes and their kind, let me just say “Don’t Tread on Me”, says it all!
    明けましておめでとうand Happy New Year to you the American way!

      • letsjapan
      • December 27th, 2012

      Heh heh, well, “lankyank,” you’ve got an entire year to work on that phobia!

      Honto ni, Happy New Year. My very best to you and yours!


    • Faith
    • December 27th, 2012

    That snake around your neck looks like a little sister to the 14+ft Burmese Python my ex and I used to have.

      • letsjapan
      • December 27th, 2012

      Good times.

  2. What a splendid photo of you and your snake friend. I must say, the snake appears to be thinking, “How many more of these tourists do I have to amuse?”

    On the other hand, that cottonmouth gives me the willies. When I moved to Texas, one of the first bits of local knowledge I picked up was “red and yellow, kill a fellow”. A gal, too, as it turns out. I’ve only seen one coral snake, but rattlers and cottonmouths – oh, yes.

    In Liberia, I once decapitated a black mamba with a screen door. That was fun. And it was common knowledge that you never, but never should drive over a python that had stretched itself across the road. As was said, “That snake, you drive over him, he put one end up and the other end up and THROW you in the bush!” OK, then!

    Happy New Year!

      • letsjapan
      • December 30th, 2012

      O.K., great comment, Shoreacres. You definitely win the Snake-Handler Prize. As for that Me & My Python pic above, believe me, I was just trying to be a good sport; my hosts insisted on wrapping that snake round my neck, so I had to let them know it was little more than a big yawn, or smile, for me.

    • Lois
    • April 18th, 2013

    My soon-to-be 12-year-old is a snake although her (Shanghainese) cello teacher informed her it was v bad luck to call oneself a snake. Better to say, “Little Dragon.” And so it goes.

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